Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Your Garbage Can be a Criminal’s Treasure

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding residents of southwestern Ontario to be mindful this holiday season when placing their holiday litter to the curb. 

Thieves can quickly ascertain what you received on your Christmas wish list by simply driving by and looking at the gift boxes put out to the curb for garbage pickup. Criminals can easily gauge which house would make a great target based on the advertisement left out for them each year.

Residents are reminded to take the following steps to help protect themselves from prospective criminals:

  • It is best to take boxes from large ticket items directly to a recycling depot when possible.
  • Shred all receipts and financial documents meant for the garbage.
  • If you need to place boxes at the curbside, break down and cut down boxes to a smaller size and turn inside out.
  • Arrange to have a trusted person gather your garbage cans if you will be away.

In addition, police are passing along the following post-holiday suggestions to help keep residents safe:

  • Ensure your mail is gathered as soon as possible. If you have home mail delivery and will be away, either delay your delivery or have a trusted person retrieve your mail for you.
  • Avoid posting your new gifts on social media.
  • Make your home looked lived in while away.
  • Remember to always keep your vehicles and homes locked or you may lose what is inside.

Thieves often look for the easiest target with the biggest, quickest return and by following these tips you can help prevent becoming a victim of property crime this holiday season.

For more information on the OPP Lock It or Lose It or the Safeguard Program, you can visit the OPP Website at and click on the “Resources” tab.

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